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Tony Abbott made political capital out of the Home Insulation Program’s problems, but will he heed the lessons from the Royal Commission’s findings? AAP/Alan Porritt

Insulation royal commission exposes fatal market flaws

The most important finding in the final report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program is the one the Abbott government is least likely to heed. One of the two crucial flaws Commissioner…
The heavy vehicle freight system predictably produces avoidable deaths and misery on a grand scale. Can we expect an inquiry into who’s responsible? AAP/Adrian Munn

Tragic accidents by design: finally, a finding of systemic blame

The damning report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP) was released on Monday. It cites multiple failures of ministers and public servants to foresee and prevent circumstances…
The Abbott government’s use of royal commissions for political retribution has revived an older tradition around the politics of scandal. AAP/Dan Peled

Pink batts and union inquiries revive a tradition of political retribution

It would be a fair observation that the Abbott government hopes that the result of the two royal commissions it has established since taking office will be damaging to the Labor Party. The royal commissions…
Rudd’s legal wrangles: political theatre, but beside the point when it comes to improving public programs. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Rudd humbled, but real lessons of insulation scheme go unlearned

It’s understandable that coverage of Kevin Rudd’s appearance before the royal commission into the home insulation program should focus on the image of a former Prime Minister humbled over a policy that…
The voluntary release of the former Rudd government’s cabinet documents in relation to the home insulation scheme risks undermining cabinet confidentiality, and is a dangerous precedent. AAP/Alan Porritt

Cabinet confidentiality: privilege, accountability and public interest

It was revealed last week that prime minister Tony Abbott personally authorised the disclosure of the former Labor government’s cabinet papers in response to a summons by the royal commission into the…
By releasing the previous government’s cabinet proceedings for examination, Tony Abbott has exposed his cabinet to the risk that their successors will do the same to them. AAP/Alan Porritt

Releasing cabinet papers sets up paybacks that hurt our democracy

A long-standing principle in Australian politics, one derived from Westminster and British experience over hundreds of years, is that incoming governments do not use the confidential discussions of cabinet…

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